Brandywine Update | June 6, 2020
Dear Brandywine Family,
The battle is not over. We remain vigilant regarding the safety, physical, social and emotional well-being of our residents and our team members.
As states and local communities begin to re-open, we are similarly working toward enhanced opportunities for resident engagement during this time of continued isolation. Of course, everything we do will be thoughtful and deliberate.
We have initiated universal testing at every Brandywine community. Every Brandywine team member has been tested and residents have or will soon be tested as well.
With our universal testing substantially complete, we will start a limited process of bringing home our residents who have been in sub-acute rehabilitation facilities, respiting with their families, or who have been waiting to be able to move into our community.
They need us. Their families need us.
We have instituted a series of protocols for this process, including verification of recent COVID testing in the rehab, testing for any resident returning to us from another location, and pre-and-post testing of every new resident. Further, returning or new residents will have an adaptation and isolation period of 7 days, and Brandywine will handle the move-in of any personal items, after sanitizing them.
Executive Orders and CDC guidance continues to restrict visitation.
We thank you for your daily letters and emails recognizing those heroes who are our front-line team members, and for our community leaders.
Your words are meaningful, uplifting, and appreciated.
Thank you for your support, patience, and understanding as we fight this virus together.
The Brandywine Center of Excellence
Brandywine Update | May 16, 2020
Dear Residents, Families and Team Members,
Brandywine’s efforts to contain and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 continue in full force. We are so thankful to our front line staff…the true heroes who are battling this threat to the health and safety of our loved ones.
While we remain acutely focused on health and safety, taking steps beyond and above what is required by the CDC, local and state authorities, we are also concerned about the well-being of our residents. Having social contact, a reason to get out of the bed in the morning is so vital to one’s well-being.
Our challenge is to continue our vigilance with regard to identifying, isolating and caring for our residents and team members who have been touched by the virus while being aware of the impact that long-term isolation and lack of social interaction can have on well-being.
Many of our residents would benefit from the limited and safe resumption of professional physical therapy services. Many of our residents would benefit from safe, socially-distanced interaction with their neighbors and friends. Many of our residents would benefit from dining in our restaurant-style venue as opposed to alone in their rooms.
We want to be very clear on this. Health and safety, including PPE, distancing, and adherence to all guidance and regulatory direction will continue to be our focus.
That said, again and again, we are working on steps to allow the limited, highly-screened availability of services to nourish our residents during this difficult time. In all cases, we will be in compliance with the direction of the state and local authorities. All states are continuing to prohibit family visitation at this time.
First, we are arranging for the resumption of physical therapy services one-on-one under specified safety protocols to help maintain and increase the strength and physical condition of our residents.
We are arranging for podiatry under the same safety procedures for one-on-one care.
With the proper precautions in place, we believe that these necessary services are important for our residents.
In addition, we are planning for the expansion of safe, socially-distanced programming to occur outside of resident suites and inside our amenity areas and outdoor courtyards.
Further, with the increased availability of testing, and under Executive Orders in some states, we are arranging for expanded testing for exposure and immunity to the virus. We, of course, cannot control the availability or accuracy of testing. This is a national challenge. But we are doing our best to obtain both the tests and the lab services to make this happen as soon as possible. Such testing will occur with some intensity starting next week.
In this war against this vicious virus, the headlines that combine the experience in senior living with the experience in nursing homes are misleading. That is not to say that we have not been significantly challenged. Brandywine’s commitment to excellence in sanitization; procurement, training, and proper usage of PPE; and the implementation of screening and isolation protocols have helped to contain and mitigate the spread of the virus in our communities.
This virus targets seniors. This virus targets communities of people, whether they live in cities or in a senior living environment.
We will continue our hand-to-hand combat…for as long as it takes, and with whatever it takes to win this war.
Brandywine Update | April 14, 2020
Dear Brandywine Family,
It is a very difficult time in our country. As you know, the coronavirus is particularly challenging to our elderly residents, who are your loved ones, and to the team members who are the true heroes on the front line everyday.
We have taken several steps to continue to protect their health and safety.
We are laser-focused on mitigation and containment.
Let me review a few of these measures, informed by the guidance from the CDC and our local and state health departments:
- All residents are isolated in their individual suites.
- All dining, care and support services are being delivered in their suites.
- There have been no communal events for several weeks.
- All staff are being screened for fever or symptoms every time they enter our buildings.
- All communities continue elevated disinfecting and environmental protocols.
- All staff is in PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). We acted early and have sufficient supplies.
- All residents are being closely monitored for any development of symptoms.
- No visitors are allowed in our communities.
We have taken an additional step of requiring that all staff commit to working exclusively in a Brandywine building. The data show that transmission of the virus can be increased by staff who work in multiple healthcare settings.
Almost all healthcare settings are experiencing a shortage of staff. To make sure we have adequate staffing levels, we have been actively recruiting and hiring qualified individuals to supplement our team.
Our leaders are on the wall 24/7 to ensure that we have real-time, minute-by-minute updates on any changes.
We will notify you personally if there is an active COVID resident being cared for in your community.
Team member(s) who display symptoms, or if we have a reason to believe they have had contact with a COVID positive individual, are being taken off the schedule in accordance with all healthcare guidelines.
Let us say a word about our team members. Despite the challenges this invisible pandemic presents, our dedicated and caring team members are taking the best care they can of each resident’s health and well-being.
Our Escapades…for Life! team has been extremely focused on keeping our residents engaged and positive in many new ways with the spirit that you should never stop believing that you can be the difference.
We still face many tough weeks ahead. We will face them together and we will get through this…together.
The Brandywine Center of Excellence
March 26, 2020 – We are writing to keep you informed of the evolving measures we continue to take in order to protect our residents and team members from the spread of COVID-19.
We continue to follow the guidelines of federal, state and local health authorities related to this pandemic.
Therefore, in an abundance of caution, we will further increase the distancing protocols we have had in place. All residents will be cared for in their rooms and all team members will be wearing personal protective equipment while interacting with residents.
Dining will be through room service and in-room programming options will be provided and coordinated with the Escapades team.
Resident and team member health, safety, and well-being has been and continues to be our top priority. Restricted visitation to essential personnel remains in effect, and we have refined the definition of essential personnel to further restrict people who may be providing services in multiple healthcare venues.
We know this is a difficult time for everyone and will continue to provide you with updates as appropriate.
Thank you for giving us the honor of helping you to take care of your loved one. We take that responsibility very seriously each and every day.
Brandywine Update: Keeping You Informed
March 17, 2020 — Keeping our families, residents, and team members informed is incredibly important during this time of heightened precautions, media, and evolving guidelines coming from the CDC, state, and local health organizations. This Brandywine Update shares added steps we are taking to protect the health, well-being, and safety of your loved ones and our team members who care for them.
Front Entrance-Controlled Access
Our front doors will be secured from external entry and managed by our Concierge to control access to essential visitors and employees only. The added step elevates our screening process to help ensure all essential visitors and team members are being checked before they enter the community.
Temperature Checks- Essential Visitors
Our screening not only includes observation and questioning, but also temperature checks. Anyone exhibiting a low-grade fever (anything 99.2 or above) will not have access to the community.
On-Site Therapy Suspension
Due to therapists traveling between multiple healthcare settings, there will be no therapy services provided until further notice.
No outside tours will be allowed to come into the community. Screening procedures for limited scheduled admissions, including possible isolation in their suite for 14 days, are in effect.
Our Escapades teams are implementing more technology for virtual visits through FaceTime and other platforms, as well as program options to keep families connected to their loved ones and our residents connected to the community.
Brandywine stands with our families in our determination to protect our residents and our team members as much as possible during this uncertain time. We will keep you updated on these efforts.
Update: Visitor Policy
March 15, 2020 — We wanted to reach out with an update regarding visitation. Our visitation remains essential personnel only, which does not allow for family visits at this time.
We know we previously said that you could take your loved one out of the community and we would have them meet you in the lobby.
You can still take your loved one out, but if you choose to do this, you would have to take them home until the state and federal restrictions are lifted. Then they can come back on a 14-day quarantine to their room. This does not apply to essential medical appointments.
We understand that this is a difficult, frustrating, and uncertain time. Please understand that these are not only Brandywine’s measures, but in accordance with state and federal direction in order to mitigate and contain this coronavirus.
This is uncharted territory and things are changing by the day and even by the hour. We will continue to keep you updated throughout this time.
We are working to ensure FaceTime and Skype availability for our families and residents to stay connected.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we all seek to protect our residents as much as possible and our country pulls together to fight this virus.
Update: Visitor Policy
March 11, 2020 — In an abundance of caution and in concert with guidance from the CDC and State and local health departments, we are restricting all non-essential visits at this time. This is for the safety of our residents and the team members who care for them. Thank you for your understanding of the following measures:
- No visitors, guests, or third-party services at the community unless it is for delivery purposes or essential medical related reasons.
- If it is essential to take your loved one out of the community, please notify us ahead of time and we will arrange for them to meet you in the lobby.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the community directly.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Brandywine’s Response Plan
We want to share with you the steps Brandywine Living is taking with regard to the protection of our residents, team members and families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Prevention is our first line of defense at Brandywine.
We have protocols that our team members follow with regard to infection control. Many of you have seen some of these protocols implemented during flu seasons. They include taking immediate measures to limit contact and communal activities and to enhance normal sanitizing methods.
While we have no indication of coronavirus in any of our communities, we are certainly limiting outside events and advising visitors to reschedule their visits if they are sick or have recently traveled internationally.
We are actively participating in updates with the local and state Departments of Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the spread of the virus.
We will continue to reinforce the same actions/habits used during the flu season to residents, families, visitors and team members for infection control.
Here are a few of the measures that we should all keep in mind during this challenge:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick and seek medical care.
- Cover your cough, sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not readily available.
- Regularly use the hand sanitizer stations that are at the entrance and throughout the community.
- Pay attention to postings at the community entrance notifying residents, staff and visitors that if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of respiratory infection, such as a fever, or cough, sore throat or have traveled internationally in the last 14 days, please reschedule your visit for a later time.
- Reschedule resident outings for a later date.
- Postpone any public events taking place in communities.
It is important to note that the CDC is updating the public on the situation regularly. Their information is the best resource for answers to any questions about COVID-19. For more information, you can visit the CDC information page.
The BCE will continue to update as necessary with emerging issues and new information as available. Thank you for your understanding and support.
The Brandywine Center of Excellence (BCE) is where all existing and new services and programs are organized, monitored, evaluated, accessible, and transformed.
Our mission at Brandywine (today, tomorrow and in the future) is to maximize the resident and team member experience through excellence in leadership, quality, innovation and advancement of our programs and services.
The Brandywine Center of Excellence (BCE) consists of four pillars.